Terri-Jane Yuzda


Let's hear from you...

The PEGG welcomes letters as an avenue for members to express opinions and concerns on issues or topics of interest to the professions. Share your experiences with other members.

Mail to:1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 4A2, E-mail: glee@apegga.org or Fax: (780) 425-1722 your letters to the editor, signed with your name and address.

Of course we can't publish all letters received and can't run letters concerning specific registration matters before any APEGGA regulatory body. Do try and keep your letters to 300 words or less. Remember, The PEGG reserves the right to edit for length, legality, coherence and taste. Letters that don't appear in the print version of The PEGG will sometimes appear in the electronic version only.

Comparing Credentials

Readers must take note of the academic credentials of persons who present themselves as experts in any ongoing public debate. Doing so enables them to decide how seriously to take the arguments presented by the advocates, pro or con. This is especially so in a debate as critical to Canadians as the ratification of the Kyoto Accord.

I note that in the Kyoto debate presented on page 17 of the November PEGG, the Point proponents supporting ratification offer a PhD in theoretical chemistry and a B.Sc. in civil engineering. The Counterpoint crew opposing Kyoto offer a PhD in astrophysics, a PhD in paleoclimatology and an M.Sc. in geotechnical engineering.

When academic qualifications are considered, the Counterpoint team clearly stands well above the Point team. These writers are more likely to know what they are talking about. Indeed, paleoclimatology is the very essence of the Kyoto debate! In fact, the Point discourse presented here is typical of much of the pro-Kyoto media coverage one sees these days - short on science but long on motherhood and apple pie.

It is amusing to note that the Point team, in their rebuttal, cautioned that "members would also be well advised to avoid basing their views on climate science on arguments advanced by individuals who are specialists in only very narrow portions of that broad field . . ." People who have no academic background on the subject they purport to advocate shouldn't throw stones.

B.J. Pfeffer, P.Geol.

Kyoto Feature Fails

Re: Point/Counterpoint on the Kyoto Accord and Protocol, November PEGG.

This opinion feature gave nothing to a better understanding of Kyoto. Rather than argue and be so defensive, why don't these five individuals sit down and be open to each other's views?

In that way, they could state each contentious issue to the other side's satisfaction and have a complete dialogue about each issue. Kyoto is far too important to be politicized -- we are scientists and we ought to have at least a semblance of scientific objectivity in order to get at the truth.

Our own economic well-being and the planet's environmental well-being are worth it, don't you think?

Jim Robertson, P.Geol.

Editor's Note: The PEGG devised the format for the feature and contacted the participants. Any blame for the writers' failure to address differences in a less polarized way, then, lies with us.

Better Access Please

As I read the November issue of The PEGG, I felt the desire to contact our president over his President's Notebook column, and perhaps to also contact other Council members to express my views and concerns.

Much to my surprise, the contact information at the front of The PEGG lists their telephone numbers but not their e-mail addresses. This is of little help to me, and probably to many others, because I would like to respond while I read The PEGG during my off-work hours.

Once immersed in my professional work I correctly focus on other matters than the functioning of APEGGA. Even if I did remember an item I wanted to discuss with a Council member, my employers would not look favourably on my making that kind of telephone call on work time.

Candidates usually run, as I understand it, to represent members better than the councillors elected before them. If this wish is sincere, I suggest The PEGG run an article announcing this intention has survived beyond the election, and is being backed up by a listing of e-mail addresses of all Council members in every edition.

Let's see more real representation through use of readily available technology.

Karl Miller, P.Eng.

Efforts Applauded

Congratulations to the Calgary branch of APEGGA for holding a forum on Kyoto and The PEGG for devoting two full pages in November to the airing of this important subject.

H. Neal Collins, P.Eng.

Not That Rich

Re: Grande Prairie Engineer Helps Dig Up Dinosaur Fossils, November PEGG.

This article presents the Grande Prairie Area as "the second richest dinosaur area in North America." Would that this were true.

I do believe, however, that we are the second richest dinosaur area in Western Canada. The Drumheller/Brooks area is first.

Dr. Robert Hunt, P.Eng.
Grande Prairie Regional College

Don't Speak for Me

I am appalled that the APEGGA president sent a letter to the Prime Minister without more thorough consultation of members. I, for one, do not agree with his statements and resent being represented in this fashion.

It is blatantly obvious that APEGGA and the majority of its members who obtain their bread and butter from the polluting industries can not possibly be objective on this matter. Who is more biased: Alberta engineers who work in the oil and gas industry or the multitude of academics around the world who have studied the issue of global warming?

It's not just a bunch of activists with "hidden agendas" spouting "doom and gloom," as at least one writer to The PEGG says. How about this quote from Ralph Klein: "The country can take the route advocated by the protestors, which is to achieve Kyoto at all costs, even if it means turning back the clock on economic growth and saying goodbye to tens of thousands - possibly hundreds of thousands - of jobs today and tomorrow." Now who's fear mongering?

Does anyone else out there embrace change and innovation?

Will Kriski, P.Eng.

IPCC's Political Spin

The problem with the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, given credence by those who support Kyoto, is that all anyone ever bothers to refer to, it seems, is the summary. The IPCC report summary purports to reflect the findings of the scientists who contributed to the full report.

On the contrary, however, the summary was not written by these esteemed scientists, but rather by a small, select group of politically motivated individuals, scientists or otherwise, who gave it their own spin.

It is this group, the summary writers, that has maintained that a majority of the world's scientists agree that human activity is responsible for global warming. Little could be further from reality. In fact, more than 17,000 scientists subsequently signed a petition, based in Oregon, which urged the U.S. government not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. The petition doubtless contributed to the decision of the U.S. to walk away from it.

Kyoto supporters have tried to discredit this huge group of "dissidents" at every opportunity. But the fact is this group has every bit as much scientific credibility as the Kyoto supporters, if not more.

The problem is that the supposed science upon which Kyoto is based is at least 10 years old. In the meantime, much new climate science has become known. It is now established, for example, that at least 95 per cent of the CO2 in the atmosphere is derived from vegetation and oceans. Only 2.5 to five per cent at most is generated by human activity, including combustion of coal, oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbons, such as trees and other biomass.

Given these simple climate facts, it is absurd to assert that human activity has anything but a marginal impact on climate, if any.

The other scientific fallacies of Kyoto are that CO2 is the principal greenhouse gas contributing to global warming, when it is in fact water vapour, and that CO2 is a pollutant, which it is not. Rather, CO2 is a staff of life - vegetation consumes it and generates the oxygen that sustains us.

Kyoto should be dismissed and ignored. What we need to do instead is focus on real pollution abatement. Let's decrease oxides of sulphur and nitrogen, soot and other particulates, which are far more damaging to human health and the environment than is CO2.

The Kyoto Protocol unfortunately does not address this initiative. Consequently, it has missed the boat.

Dr. Gerald A. Crawford, P.Eng.
Mississauga, Ont.

Two Sciences Needed

Only two sciences are involved in measuring global climate change, meteorology and geology. One is for the present, the other for the past. Scientists (such as Dr. David Suzuki) who are not fully conversant in these fields should speak in muted tones or not at all.

Mainstream meteorologists tell us there is no recognized pattern of atmospheric change in progress. The entire geological community is overwhelmingly dismissive of the idea that the minute changes that have been measured in temperatures at the surface over the last 150 years are significant of global climate change and probably are not manmade in any case. Much greater changes have been common throughout geological history, some of them within recorded history.

Let me correct another misperception. In the otherwise excellent letter in November by R. J. Balfour, P.Eng., Ingenuity Is the Answer - Not the Kyoto Protocol, the source of oxygen in the atmosphere is said to be the carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle that liberates oxygen through photosynthesis. So we were all taught in grade school.

In reality, however, atmospheric oxygen is mainly liberated from water by dissociation under the bombardment of the solar wind in the upper atmosphere. Hydrogen is so light it escapes earth's gravitation. Oxygen remains but is continually depleted by oxidation processes in the biosphere and must be replaced continually by the action of the solar wind. The restoration of atmospheric oxygen by plants alone is quantitatively implausible.

C. Warren Hunt, P.Geol., Life Member

Geoscience Community Reaches Out

Many of you know Lori Wilcox. She is the cheerful and energetic lady at the Core Research Centre who gives out sampling authorization and does follow-up on drill cuttings submissions. Lori is in a bit of a bind these days and could really use our help.

Due to long-term denture use, her jawbone is receding and could break at any time through simply chewing food. She has been to four or five dentists and specialists with the consensus being that she needs major corrective surgery. Unfortunately, neither Alberta Health Care nor insurance through the Energy Utilities Board will cover the cost.

Lori is unable to afford the surgery. We have decided we would like to help her by raising funds on her behalf.

Lori is scheduled for surgery Jan. 29. The total bill is about $20,000. We have set up a bank account for collection purposes at the Bow Valley Branch of the Royal Bank, under the name Friends of Lori, Transit Number 2319, Account Number 1024603. The account is set up to receive money from folks like you.

We all have many chances, sometimes too many, to donate to various causes. This cause, however, may be different in that many of you know Lori and appreciate the personal touch she brings to her work. If you know Lori, or even if you don't but would like to bless someone's life, would you please help out by making a donation on her behalf.

Donations made payable to Friends of Lori will be accepted at any Royal Bank branch in Calgary or can be mailed to the Royal Bank, 255 5th Ave S.W., Calgary T2P 3G6, account Transit Number 2319, Account Number 1024603. All donations will be anonymous to Lori and to us.

We thank you for your generosity. If you have questions, please give us a call.

Shelley Moore, P.Geol. (403) 231-9962
Caroline Williams, P.Geol. (403) 298-6256
Iain Muir, P.Geol. (403) 205-6726
Richard Brandley, P.Geol. (403) 247-2140



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